Our self-image is formed by allowing ourselves to be influenced by various authority figures. As we mature and accept the responsibility of defining ourselves, these internalized voices of authority must each be examined and evaluated. It is only when we take back our own power to define ourselves that we are truly free.
Our conscious mind is where thoughts are formed. Our subconscious mind is where our creative mind takes root. As we learn to harness the vast power and energy of the subconscious mind, we are tapping into our real source.
Transactional analysis therapists estimate that we each have 25,000 hours of internalized negative self-talk. We are generally taught what is wrong with us by our authority figures at home, school, church, etc. In an effort to understand who we are, we accept these self-limiting labels as who we are. However, we each individually are the only one who can truly “know” who we are, or, at least, we are in the best position to make the best educated guess. Learn to challenge the “voices” (one of friends called them “the committee”) or negative self-talk you carry around in your head. Listen to what you tell yourself about you.
In learning to monitor your inner critic, learn to first determine if the criticism is helpful. If you find the suggestion to be helpful, next check to see if the inner critic is kind, gentle, and polite to you. If it is in a condemning voice, ask you inner critic to speak kinder to you.
The techniques you may use to change your inner critic from enemy to friend are: speed up the volume, mimic a falsetto voice, etc. My favorite ploy when I was learning this was to scream “Stop”. It is better to practice these techniques while alone. As someone has suggested—learn to join the airwaves until you own the station.
Self-esteem comes from how we evaluate and accept or reject input as well as the foundation we’ve created from the successes we’ve experienced. By learning to focus on our strengths rather than on our weaknesses, we have each take charge of our own destiny.
After learning how to utilize our inner critic, we next need to take charge of our thoughts. What we choose to focus our thinking on determines what we will think and feel about ourselves. You are what you think you are. By substituting positive self-talk for negative self-talk, we are re-programming ourselves for positive action.